A national coalition pushing to legalize marijuana endorsed Del. Heather Mizeur in the race for governor on Friday.
The political action committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said in a statement Mizeur would "provide the leadership required to help Maryland move towards a new, smarter approach to marijuana.”
The Montgomery County Democrat has made legalizing and taxing marijuana a platform issue in her campaign to succeed Gov. Martin O'Malley. She proposed using revenue from legalized pot to finance an unprecedented expansion in pre-kindergarten programs in Maryland.
"Maryland’s marijuana laws have ruined lives, been enforced with racial bias, and keep law enforcement from focusing their time and resources on more violent crime," Mizeur said in a statement.
Mizeur, a two-term legislator, is one of several lawmakers pushing this year's proposal to legalize marijuana, regulate it and tax it similar to how state controls alcohol.
She is the only candidate in the gubernatorial race to back legalizing pot.